Exceptional U.S. Model 1817 Flintlock Rifle

Currency:USD Category:Antiques / Firearms & Armory Start Price:3,750.00 USD Estimated At:7,500.00 - 9,500.00 USD
Exceptional U.S. Model 1817 Flintlock Rifle
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This is an excellent example of a U.S. Model 1817 "Common Rifle" that was manufactured by Robert and John D. Johnson in Middletown, Connecticut, in 1824. This rifle was manufactured during the first year of Johnsons' five year U.S. contact for 3,000 Model 1817 rifles. The lock plate is stamped with the early style markings that consist of the date "1824" over "MIDDn CONN" in a curve behind the hammer and "U.S./R & J.D. JOHNSON" in two lines in front of the hammer. The barrel tang is dated "1824". The barrel is stamped with "US" over an indented "P" proof mark and the Ordnance sub-inspector's initials "JN" perpendicular to the axis of the bore. A "VT." (Vermont) property mark is stamped just ahead of the proof and inspection marks. A small "W" sub-inspection mark is stamped on the left barrel flat and on the rear of the left stock flat. An Ordnance final inspection mark consisting of two script initials with an oval border is stamped on the left stock flat. "U.S." is stamped on the heel of the buttplate. An asterisk is stamped on the underside of the stock behind the trigger guard finial. The rifle has a round barrel with dove-tail mounted iron front sight and dove-tail mounted fixed v-notch rear sight. The lock plate has a rounded rear and beveled front with detachable brass pan and reinforced hammer. The rifle has the distinctive iron trigger guard with trigger guard plate that forms a pistol grip which supports the sling swivel and large oval iron patch box. The stock is secured by three spring fastened barrel bands. The rifle has an iron ramrod with brass trumpet-head. The barrel, trigger guard, patch box and buttplate have a brown lacquer finish. The lock plate, hammer and frizzen are casehardened. The barrel bands, band springs and side plate are bright. Known as the "Common Rifle" to distinguish it from the Hall breech-loading flintlock rifle, the Model 1817 Flintlock Rifle was the standard U.S. infantry rifle from 1817 until the adoption of the U.S. Model 1841 Rifle around the time of the Mexican War. Many Model 1817 rifles were converted to percussion during the 1850s and both flintlock and percussion Model 1817 Rifles were still in service with state militias at the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861.
BBL: 36 inch round
Stock: walnut
Gauge: 54 cal.
Finish: brown/casehardened
Serial Number: NSN
Condition: Excellent. The unissued rifle is in the original flintlock configuration and retains nearly 80% of the original brown and casehardened finish with scattered light scratches and some minor finish flaking. There is light-moderate flash pitting on the right side of the barrel surrounding the flash hole and light pitting and discoloration on adjacent areas of the hammer and lock plate. The lock plate retains strong amounts of the color casehardened finish. The hammer and frizzen have a dark patina. The nicely figured black walnut stock has sharp edges surrounding the lock plate. The edges of the left flat and barrel channel are sharp, The markings on the lock plate, barrel and stock flat are all crisp. This is an exceptional example of a Model 1817 Common Rifle in original flintlock configuration. Most of the 38,200 Model 1817 Common Rifles were issued during the rifle's long period of service and many rifles were converted to percussion. Model 1817 Common Rifles in original flintlock configuration with large amounts of original finish, like this rifle, are hard to find.